The School Board Calls for Reductions

Last November we learned how the original Americans saved the surviving Pilgrims’ lives by feeding them and teaching them how to farm in salty, sandy soil, and then invited them to join them—join their tribe, not just settle nearby lands. It seems they were natural Christians and already knew that all peoples were really one Great Tribe beneath the Sky. Eventually the originals were massacred by their guests, who founded a church so they could live with themselves, perhaps, or at least slay in the name of a Prince of Peace. Nathan P. showed us all this in a book. We confirmed it on the Internet. But now the book, those websites, and Nathan P. are gone. The School Board’s keeping its promise to reduce class size.

Later we learned of Wilmington and Tulsa from Freddie D. and now he too is gone. The Daily News reported how the School Board keeps its promises.

Last week we learned that lynchings spread as far north as New York and Minnesota. And sheriffs looked the other way for over a hundred years, sheriffs that people kept voting for, who called themselves Good People. Eventually even cops, with the squeeze of knees instead of nooses, and kids with thirsty guns, got in the act. Cops and kids and courts—some, though not all. Nomey C. and Sammy C. told us all this. We confirmed it on the Internet; there were no books to find. But now those sites and Sammy C. and Nomey C. are gone.

Yesterday we learned of Nazis and the Holocaust and swastikas, and that on January 6, a lynch mob at our Capitol not only boasted a noose, but also swastikas and battle flags of treason. Quickly we confirmed this with photos on the Internet and saw the noose, the swastikas, and battle flags of treason, and that some mobsters had guns, the day that five were slain. Howie Z. told us this. Today, though, all those sites are down and Howie Z. is gone.

The School Board, up for re-election, reminds us of their great success in reducing class size.

We miss our friends and meet to discuss remembering them in a book, but on second thought perhaps a fictive poem or flashy fiction would better contain the truth, lest we, too, help quench the School Board, thirsty as kids’ guns, and, so like you, begin to disappear.


in honor of
Nathaniel Philbrick, Frederick Douglass,  Noam Chomsky, Samuel Clemens, & Howard Zinn

James B. Nicola

James B. Nicola is a returning contributor to The South Shore Review. His poems have also appeared in the Antioch, Southwest and Atlanta Reviews; Rattle; and Barrow Street. His seven full-length collections (2014-22) are Manhattan Plaza, Stage to Page, Wind in the Cave, Out of Nothing, Quickening, Fires of Heaven, and Turns & Twists. His nonfiction book Playing the Audience won a Choice award. His poetry has received a Dana Literary Award, two Willow Review awards, Storyteller's People's Choice award, one Best of Net nomination, and eight Pushcart noms—for which he feels both stunned and grateful.